This weekend from Sept 5-7 is FanX, Utah’s biggest fan experience. People from all over the world come to share their love of comics, superheroes, fantasy novels, TV series, and movies. Cosplayers wander the halls, New York Times bestselling authors hang out playing DnD, celebrities come for signings, photo ops, and to be interviewed on the main stage.
And I’m there too.
Thanks to the friendship and support of some truly amazing individuals, I was able to connect with the event organizers and join the brave pack of panelists who share their expertise on everything from costume building tricks and hints to the finer points of novel writing.
The first panel I was part of talked in depth about literally everything hobbit. We covered where they come from, how they influenced the storytelling in Lord of the Rings, which Hobbit was our favorite, and on and on. There was a bit of a love fest about the Silmarillion, which strangely doesn’t really discuss hobbits more than a few mentions.
My favorite hobbit – Samwise Gamgee’s father, often referred to as the old Gaffer. Why? Everyone says Sam is their favorite character because he’s the true hero in Lord of the Rings. Frodo couldn’t complete the task of destroying the ring on his own and would have failed without Sam. Throughout the books, Sam relies on lessons learned from his father to get him through tough times. So I would argue that without the influence of the old Gaffer, Sam wouldn’t have been able to be the hero he needed to be.
My other panel focused on the American Apocalypse and we discussed everything from religious belief in the end of the world to the nature of the word “apocalypse” which literally means revelation, not destruction as most would assume. We debated on what the real apocalypse might be and where the idea that this would make good fiction stems from.
The strongest argument of what’s going to end it all for us currently is either the AI apocalypse or something horribly bacterial. Although, the supervolcano hiding under Yellowstone was a strong contender.
As part of being a special guest author, I get to do two official signings. One was yesterday night, and the next Saturday at 11. If you’ve been dying to get your hands on a signed copy of Stonebearer’s Betrayal, I’d love to see you!
This year I’m not cosplaying as anything, it would have been one more thing to worry about and I’m supposed to be playing the part of a professional author. But … I saw some amazing clothing items I might have to get …
Don’t forget! The Labor Day sale of Stonebearer’s Betrayal ends this Saturday. You can grab the ebook for FREE over on Amazon this week only!
We’ve reached the end of the power word series and I saved the best for last. Today’s word is FEARLESS.
While many choose to define fearless as ‘being without fear,’ I define it differently. Being fearless means to acknowledge your fears and then go out and do the thing that’s perhaps a little scary. For me, it’s anything that might result in confrontation. Public speaking is one of those things. It’s scary and this year I’ve done it far more than I’ve ever done it before.
I’m an introvert by nature. Most assume the outgoing, somewhat loud side of me they see in public means that I’m super extroverted – it’s not true. The extroverted persona I wear at conferences is me grabbing the idea of being fearless and doing what needs to be done to best represent myself as an author. At conferences that means being brave and talking to strangers and presenting ideas in classes and panels.
If you’d asked me about this years ago, the idea of attending conferences with the intent to meet as many amazing people as possible and making myself seen, would have reduced me to a pile of anxiety ridden mush. It’s taken time, experience, and lots of watching my wonderful fellow author friends show how they handle being at a conference table, or behave on a panel, or teach a class.
The key to being fearless is developing confidence. Confidence comes from deep within and must be grown over time. It’s a personal understanding that you are a person of worth and have lots to share with the world. It’s also understanding that everyone around you deserves to be treated like they are also an interesting person and letting them shine.
Check it out! I’m doing something super brave and attending FanX officially as an author for the very first time this September. If you’re headed to FanX, I’d love to see you! Search the FanX site for my profile (or just click here) to see the most up-to-date listing of the panels I will be sitting on. You can also find me hanging around the Printed Garden vendor table.
From acting, to film making, to daily blogging, to writing books, today’s guest loves pushing his creative limits. I think, Scott Taylor and I first met at a book signing event, but it might have been a conference. He’s one of those guys that you feel like you’ve known forever, because he’s always very warm and friendly to talk to.
We crossed paths again at this year’s Fyrecon writing and arts conference in Layton and I offered to bring him here to share some of his wit and wisdom with all my wonderful readers.
Without further ado, let’s go to the interview!
To kick things off, let’s begin with a getting to know you question. Tell us a little about yourself, including what scares you the most.
My name is Scott Taylor. I live on the side of a mountain on a plot of land my parents bought for pennies (compared to today) back in the 1960s. I write speculative fiction, steampunk, fantasy, even a little paranormal and horror. My debut novel Chaser was released in 2018 from Immortal Works Press. I am a blogger and have blogged every day since January 24th, 2011. I also keep a daily journal and have done so since January, 1985. Two things that scare me most are sharks and drowning, but if I’m ever in the situation where I’m facing both possibilities, I’m not entirely sure which would be worse.
In the past year, what’s one experience you’ve had that you could describe as amazing.
In April of this year, I joined the Programming Team with
the FanX Comics Convention in Salt Lake City. My main responsibility centered
around a stage located on the convention floor—a first for the con. I helped
book the acts, schedule them, and I had the honor of watching the con patrons
enjoy panels, musical acts, even dance and self-defense demonstrations. I loved
introducing a new facet of the convention and seeing how it affected the
overall con experience of those in attendance.
Of all your creative endeavors, of which there are many, which have you found the most rewarding?
I believe a creator never tires of hearing about how their work has affected others. When a parent tells me how much their children (and them) loved my book, or watching a person cry after watching a film I wrote, you realize what you’re doing is not only for your own satisfaction and interests, but can affect and entertain so many others—that’s the best part of what we do (in my opinion).
Tell us about the inspiration behind your most current book, Chaser: An Interplanetary Tale of a Boy and His Dog.
Chaser came about
for two reasons. I wanted to finally complete a November NaNoWriMo project, and
I wanted to write a book for my youngest child to read since he’s not a reader.
I asked him what he wanted to read, and he responded, “science fiction.” So, I
had to figure out how much “science” I needed to put in a middle-grade science
I ask this question to everyone – what’s the most interesting item you have in your writing space and what’s the story behind it?
I don’t have a writing space, per se. I suppose the most interesting thing I have is my custom MacBook Pro cover. It’s leather. It zips. It has inside pockets to store additional materials. And the best part, it’s from the Deseret Industries, a local thrift store. I noticed when I bought my first MacBook Pro I noticed it was small enough to fit in a regular-sized planner. I bought one for 50¢ at the D.I. and it worked perfectly, so when I enter an Apple Store and see how much their MacBook Pro covers cost, I can’t believe how much I’m saving to protect my laptop.
What’s next? What are you working on?
I am about a quarter into a fantasy/alternative history
story that I’ve been kicking around for several years. This year I decided to
get serious about finishing a story that’s been swimming around in my brain
since the idea first came to me. I also like the world surrounding the story
and that it can hopefully continue to several other stories, both in the past
and in our current time.
About today’s guest:
Scott William Taylor lives with his family on the side of a mountain. When not working, performing, or sleeping, he loves writing novels, short stories, and screenplays. He writes Steampunk, Fantasy, SciFi, Paranormal. His debut MG novel, Chaser, is published through Immortal Works. Taylor earned his Master’s of English degree from Weber State University.
About Chaser: An Interplanetary Tale of a Boy and his Dog
Twelve-year-old Kennedy Barnes and his dad are on an interplanetary mission to transfer Earth’s animals to Planet X489-B, a habitable world without animal life.
But one animal not on their spaceship’s manifest is Kennedy’s dog Chaser. Unable to part with his beloved Chaser, Kennedy smuggles the Labrador Retriever onto his father’s ship.
What follows is a story of strength, deception, harrowing escapes and painful lessons learned.
Join Kennedy, Chaser, and the entire crew of Trinity Base as they travel billions of miles from home on an adventure as big as the universe, and find out just how far one boy will go to save his best friend.